David Kipen

David Kipen joined the National Endowment for the Arts in September 2005 as the Director of Literature, and later was was appointed Director of Literature, National Reading Initiatives. Kipen managed the Big Read, the Arts Endowment’s largest literary initiative. The Big Read has expanded into more than 400 communities nationwide and represents the largest grants portfolio in the Arts Endowment. Beginning in 2000, David Kipen, was the book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, where he reviewed six to eight books each month. He was also a book critic and essayist for National Public Radio’s “Day to Day” program and presented Santa Monica station KCRW-FM’s weekly commentary and podcast “Overbooked.” In addition to his work in print and broadcast, Kipen served on prize juries for the National Book Critics Circle (where he was also a board member), the Commonwealth Club of California, and PEN West. Kipen joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 1998 as editor for the paper’s Sunday Book Review. He assigned and edited feature articles and reviews and also wrote his own features, reviews, and column. Prior to working with the Chronicle, Kipen was senior editor with Buzz magazine, editing and helping to write the “What’s the Buzz?” section about his native Southern California. He is the author of The Schreiber Theory: A Radical Rewrite of American Film History, and a new translation of Cervantes’ The Dialogue of the Dogs. Kipen received his bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale University in 1985.